Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

West Yorkshire Regiment involvement in the Battle of Moreuil Wood


Recommended Posts

Hi, i thought for many years that my gt Uncle Mandel Manby had been KIA on the 20th of March 1918. After some further research and a lot of help from GWF members, i had it confirmed by CWGC that the 20th was a mistake and that Mandel died on the 30th March 1918. All i have is the diary of the 23rd Infantry Brigade which puts the 2nd West Yorkshire Regiment, what was left of them, near Castel. After a bit more googling i discovered the battle of Moreuil Wood and then found a small snippet from somewhere about how 100 men of the 2nd West Yorks swept south through the forest to clear it of Germans. All other research that i have on the battle of Moreuil Wood is about the Canadian Cavalry (quite rightly) but with no mention of these West Yorkshiremen. Mandel has no known grave and due to the error with the dates is on the wrong memorial. I hope, next year and maybe in March, to visit Moreuil wood and pay my respects. Does anyone here have any additional info that they could share with me about the 2nd West Yorkshire regiment's involvement in the battle of Moreuil wood? Many thanks, Ed         

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Canadian Cavalry, under the command of (I beat the Germans singlehandedly) Galloper Jack Seely, took Moreuil Wood on 30th March, 1918, as you correctly state.

At about 2200 hrs, the Canadians were relieved by the 24th Brigade, 8th Infantry Division, consisting of;

1st Worcesters

2nd Northants


1st Sherwood Foresters.


I would be interested in knowing where you obtained the information about the 2nd West Yorkshires involvement. However as my interest is mainly Seely and the Canadians, I cannot dispute their presence at some stage of the affair.


We attended the centenary commemoration’s 2 years ago, which included a recreation of Flowerdews charge, quite a spectacle. There is a thread about it on here somewhere. If you do get to visit, visit the bridge at Castel (where the canadians watered their horses before the battle) first, and then look up at the wood to appreciate what was involved in the taking of the wood. Then, after visiting the wood, go and say ‘hello’ to some of the fallen in Moreuil cemetery before paying homage to Flowerdew in Namps.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


'Lieut. Flowerdew VC’ shaking hands with Jack Seely's Grandson.   &   a scene from the 'charge'.



Edited by caulkheader
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The War Diary for the 2nd W Yorks .....29th The Battn sent up to the line to help the Cavalry ( 2nd Cav Div Gen Seely) to establish a line in Moreuil Wood, the[ drummers ] were involved in this.The Battn were withdrawn that night and given a rest.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just googled 'Moreuil Wood West Yorkshire' and found where i saw the refernce. It was this forum:



I have this ( I think from the Forum some time ago - no credit to me !!)

On 23rd March 1918, 23rd Brigade were allotted a portion of the Somme River line from St Christ bridge to Eterpigny, on the left of the division. 8th Division was in position by 1300. Attacked during the night and the next day, the Germans found sufficient river crossings to start forcing the Brigades to the right of the 23rd back. 2 W Yorks held firm under Lt Col A E E Lowry MC as right battalion left brigade.

On 25th 2 W Yorks appear to have been in reserve, for they counter-attacked near Eterpigny. The division was withdrawn during during the day to a line between Chaulnes and Estrees.

26/03/18 23 Bde HQ at Soyecourt, and 23 Bde on left of Division. They were heavily attacked but it was repulsed. Further withdrawal came to the Rouvroy-Proyart line, 23 Bde leaving around 1030 taking up the line to the left of the Rosieres position.

27/03/18 Line attacked strongly, but driven off on the left. Later in the morning 50 Div forced to give ground on left, and line was extended left to cover, using div reserve (1 Sherwoods) and 23, 24 & 25 Bdes Headquarters Staff.

28/03/18 8 Div commenced withdrawal to a line Vrely-Caix with 23 Bde on left. In early afternoon they were in danger of being outflanked when the Germans entered Caix from the north. 23 Bde found it difficult to extricate themselves. "The position ... had already become so critical that the greatest difficulty was experienced by the brigade staff in communicating the order to retire to the various units. In some cases the order was never received; and the unit concerned finally on its own initiative fought or attempted to fight its way out. The majority of the 2nd Field Company (Major A. H. Brown, DSO, MC) and of the 2/West Yorkshire were either killed or captured in such circumstances."

28 and 29/03/18 23 Bde in billets at Jumel.

On 30/03/18 2 W Yorks, who numbered but a hundred men, were sent to the assistance of the Canadian Cavalry Brigade in Moreuil Wood. 23 Bde took over a line on the western side of the wood.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you very much @EDWARD1that's very good of you to take the time to share that, much appreciated.  So, Mandel was sent up the line on the 29th to assist the cavalry and was in Moreuil wood on the 30th which is when he was KIA 30th March 1918 the same day as the famous charge of Flowerdew's squadron.  So grateful to this site and @clk& @Matlock1418


@caulkheader, i will definitely take your advice when i visit. Thanks a lot. Now to do more research on his cousin William Manby KIA 21st March 1918 near  Ecoust St Mein 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...